Transparancy! Accountability! The Movie! – UPDATED

Regular readers know I never use these GOP Things that get sent my way, but I liked this one. Great music, even if the lyrics are deplorable.

The film is rolling, and some are starting to wonder if it is curtains for America?

As an aghast world — from China to Chicago and Chihuahua — watches, the circus-like U.S. political system seems to be declining into near chaos. Through it all, stock and financial markets are paralyzed. The more the policy regime does, the worse the outlook gets. The multi-ringed spectacle raises a disturbing question in many minds: Is this the end of America?

One test of whether we are witnessing the end of America is how many more times Americans put up with congressional show trials of individual business people and their employees, slandering and vilifying them for their actions and motives. And for how long will they tolerate a President who berates business and corporations as dens of crime and malfeasance? If the majority of Americans come to accept the caricatures of business as true, then America is closer to the end of its life as a global leader, as a champion of markets and individualism.

And ummm…the bookkeepers say Obama’s numbers are off…way off. Off, as in it will be worse than we already suspect. I always did think they were pulling numbers out of their hats, over there.

Oy. Who is actually running this joint? That’s what I want to know.

Neo-neocon is feeling profoundly disturbed by many things.

UPDATE: Watch this.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Bender B. Rodriguez

    Well, all these show trials by our modern-day Committee of Public Safety and all of this demonization of Enemies of the People (who will be next week’s designated whipping boy?) serve a much needed purpose — to whip up the public passions and stoke the fires of resentment in order to empower our masters while, at the same time, distracting attention from their cluelessness.

    There is one benefit — a lot of the stimulus money is going toward the guillotine industry, thereby providing some much needed jobs for guillotine manufacturers, sellers, and executioners, not to mention increased sales of baskets.

  • kelleybee

    Thank you for the Ace’s link to Rep. McCotter floor speech. This statesman spoke the truth. I wish this could be heard in every home.

  • Jeanette

    I always did think they were pulling numbers out of their hats, over there.

    That’s funny. I was thinking more out of the other end. ;)

  • tim maguire

    No, it’s not the end of America. As Churchill once said, you can always trust the Americans to do the right thing…after they’ve tried everything else. We will tolerate a lot of abuse and mismanagement, but only for so long. Eventually, we will decide we’ve had nough and clear out the books and put ourselves on the right track again.

    Maybe we will have lost ground during that time, but it will be ground we can make up. Try as they might, the rest of the world still can’t quite get right what we do naturally.

  • Bender B. Rodriguez

    you can always trust the Americans to do the right thing…after they’ve tried everything else. We will tolerate a lot of abuse and mismanagement, but only for so long

    We’ve tolerated killing babies in the womb for 36 years now, and we’ve tolerated an entitlement society for about 75 years (a society that not only includes the welfare class, which takes government money as if it were free money, but the executive class, which skims company assets (obscene bonuses regardless of merit) as if they were free money, rather than belonging to the company’s owners — shareholders). Trillions spent on the “War on Poverty” with no end in sight. Indeed, much of those dollars only exacerbated the problem. Maybe it is true that we will tolerate the bad for only so long, but how much longer is that going to be??

    I wish we could trust the American people to do what is right, but even if many Americans can and will do the right thing, too many other Americans may never do the right thing. Many other Americans are willing to tolerate even the grossest mismanagement for all times (especially when they themselves contribute little to civil society, monetarily (taxes) or otherwise and, instead, only take from those who do pay into the pot).

  • Lee V

    tim maguire – i loved your sentiment. As long as there are folks like you out there, I won’t despair!
    PS. Loved the Prokofiev ‘Romeo & Juliet’ music in the background for the video – perfect.

  • Hootsbuddy

    It is significant that the background music in the video is “Montagues and Capulets” from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet. We are now witnessing a ballet of sorts between two parties which promises to end with a tragic echo of the play, with the prince’s sad regret, “And I, for winking at your discords too, have lost a brace of kinsmen — all are punished.”

    We are not watching a play that started in January. It didn’t even start last year or during the last administration. Or the on preceding that one. We are seeing instead the end of an era that began twenty or twenty-five years ago with all players acting in good faith. And I do not use the word acting carelessly.

    Too many people wanted to believe that they (we?) could have our cake and eat it, too… even if we couldn’t afford it. In the same way that eating to excess has a price, so too does borrowing and speculating to excess.

    I refer you to the latest Roubini commentary in Forbes.

    A country that has–for over 25 years–spent more than income and thus run an endless string of current account deficit–and has thus become the largest net foreign debtor in the world (with net foreign liabilities that are likely to be over $3 trillion by the end of this year)–is also a Ponzi country that may eventually default on its foreign debt if it does not, over time, tighten its belt and start running smaller current account deficits and actual trade surpluses.
    …U.S. households whose debt relative to income went from 65% 15 years ago, to 100% in 2000, to 135% today were playing a Ponzi game.
    …The bursting of the housing bubble, the equity bubble, the hedge funds bubble and the private equity bubble showed that most of the “wealth” that supported the massive leverage and overspending of agents in the economy was a fake bubble-driven wealth. Now that these bubble have burst, it is clear that the emperor had no clothes, and that we are the naked emperor. A rising bubble tide was hiding the fact that most Americans and their banks were swimming naked; and the bursting of the bubble is the low tide that shows who was naked.

    Madoff may now spend the rest of his life in prison. U.S. households, financial and non-financial firms, and government may spend the next generation in debtor’s prison having to tighten their belts to pay for the losses inflicted by a decade or more of reckless leverage, over-consumption and risk-taking.

    Americans, let us look at ourselves in the mirror: Madoff is us and Mr. Ponzi is us!

    I’m not as shocked as everyone seems to be about the selfishness and guile of people who pass the buck. We are all capable of being victim to the Greater Fool Theory. (I’ll go ahead and buy this stock. If I decide to sell it there will always be a greater fool than I who will want to buy it.)

    When Glass-Stegall was repealed during the Clinton administration most of a Republican dominated Congress took part. Phil Gramm was (and is, incidentally) one of the most intelligent people ever to be in Washington and as one of the chief architects of that legislation he was well thought of by his contemporaries on “both sides of the aisle” as they say.

    At that time the beginnings of hedge funds, credit-default swaps and other complicated financial instruments were very small potatoes. It was a very small part of the economy. Something like a malignant melanoma that starts as a small spot, very easy to miss.

    All the carping and finger-pointing is way, way out of line and uncalled for. It is also counterproductive. Like the new president I want to be waging peace rather than conflict, but I’m getting weary of trying to point to a big picture when there is so much focus on foolishness.

    It’s offensive, outrageous and (fill in your favorite expression of righteous indignation here) that executives are getting millions of un-earned money and those who are supposed to not let that happen seem asleep at the switch.

    My take on that is somewhat bent because in the overall scheme of things the issue is more symbolic than real. Trillions is now the new Billions and Millions is dust on the table, lost in a blizzard of zeroes.

    I feel like I’m once again in the dining room of my cafeteria and someone is raising hell over a hair in the food. In those cases I learned never to argue. (The hair was always there… even if it fell off someone in the party.) All that the boss can do under the circumstances is apologize, apologize and apologize some more. If all else fails, the only way to get them out the door is to comp the meal and be sure they won’t be able to tell anyone the story without admitting they didn’t pay for it. That’s what’s going on now in Washington and across the country.

    I will be SO GLAD to see the end of this act of the play. Unlike Romeo and Juliet I don’t think (all the gloomy predictions notwithstanding) that this is the last act. But I do believe that what comes next ain’t gonna be what the audience wants.

  • Hootsbuddy

    I failed to close the HTML tag on the Roubini link.
    If you decide to publish my comment, please correct that mistake for me. Otherwise the whole thing will look goofy. Thanks. (I didn’t aim to be so long-winded, but I got started and couldn’t stop. I caught the mistake when I decided to capture the thing for a post at my place.)

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  • nan barber

    Thanks for the pasta link. Now that’s real cooking!

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  • kelleybee

    Bender wants to know who next week’s whipping boy will be so here are a couple possibilities…

    The evil medical insurance companies, Doctors, and pharmaceutical companies could be next on the chopping block. Clinton thought she could ‘guess’ which kinds of doctors were going to be needed in 15 years and the Obama folks are positive they can too. Government bureaucrats will decide what drugs and treatments your Doctor will be allowed to prescribe. Government boards will determine where all research dollars will be spent. Rationing care (oops, I mean optimizing care) to those they deem uncurable …(that is an ethical can of worms.) If you love the post office, you’ll love O’care.

    or the evil folks who refuse to welcome with open arms every last illegal immigrant on the face of the earth. The Dems have well demonstrated their disdain for the law — it means whatever they want it to mean at any given moment….Today, Nancy Polesi believes it is un-American to enforce the country’s immigration laws.

    or the primary and secondary education systems. The country can no longer tolerate ignorant local school boards determining the curriculum of our precious little ones. The home schooled must be rescued from the hateful narrow minded agendas of their ignorant parents. The littlest ones must be placed in the mandatory preschools and the government must regulate and pay for universal day care. We don’t need no stinking parents raising children and instilling that which is not government approved.

    Or will corporate compensation continue to hog the main stream news casts. We must control the wages of those all evil financial and corporate heads….and how far down the corporate ladder will they go…..the worker’s paradise of American will determine the wages of all. (Ya wanna know an ugly will secret? They won’t touch the compensation packages of the Hollywood, music or athletic stars. Those folks are essential to the continued distraction of the masses.)

    This week’s whipping boy should be the Congress and its near total incompetence. They spend trillions of Dollars we do not even have; the Green Backs have to be printed out of thin air to enable the current Ponzi scheme. They are spending trillions of dollars that our children and grandchild will have to earn and turn over to the government as taxes before they buy food or shelter for themselves…all to satisfy this Congress’ greed for change. They enslave our children and grandchildren to this debt without so much as reading the bills that place our children and grandchildren in financial shackles. And they hysterically point fingers at everybody but their own incompetence when interesting little gems (bonuses) are discovered buried deep within the pages of those unread bills. And for a little for shadowing of what is coming for America’s religious communities, the stimulus bill contained a little nugget that mandates that buildings renovated or built with stimulus money at our nation’s colleges and universities will not be used for any religious activities. ( I believe that the members of Congress needs to grow up.